Podcast: Insights on Selling in the Marketplaces – Mike Stopka

Mike Stopka

Mike Stopka of Design Toscano joins Tim and Erik this week on the Digital Velocity podcast to discuss the everchanging challenges and opportunities of selling in Ecommerce marketplaces. He also offers valuable insights from his many years of experience in the marketplaces.

Mike explains the importance of marketplaces for Ecommerce businesses…

“If your product is exclusive, proprietary, hard to find, if it has a strong brand I’d say, why not? Again retail, 30% of retail is Ecommerce give or take. It’s going to be moving to 50%. If you’re on the left-hand side of the ledger, you’d be insane not to get into marketplaces.”

Mike also knows that the marketplaces can be difficult to navigate…

“It’s also the most challenging and maybe the worst it’s ever been. That gets back to change is a constant and you have to adapt to the change when you’re in business.”

Listen and learn how your business can benefit from being in Ecommerce marketplaces.

About Our Guest:

Michael J. Stopka grew up in the city of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois Chicago for his undergrad and Roosevelt University for his Masters in Information Systems. For the first 15 years of his career, Mike traveled across the United States as an analyst and consultant for a remittance processing Computer Company. This provided him with the opportunity to work with many banks, utilities, and credit card companies automating their cash processing systems.

During this time Mike and his wife, Marilyn, enjoyed traveling across Europe for their holidays, leading to Design Toscano’s inception. These exciting travel experiences inspired them to create a business focused on European home and garden décor reproductions for an American audience. In the earlier days of Design Toscano, the company was primarily a catalog and direct marketing company. During this period, Design Toscano experienced explosive growth and early successes—such as listings on Inc. 500’s fastest-growing companies consecutively for three years, finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year for two consecutive years, and other media recognitions such as feature articles in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Time Magazine.

Mike Stopka has since led Design Toscano to diversify its sourcing to Asia in the year 2000. Today, Design Toscano has over 75 international vendors. In addition, in the early 2010’s, Mike led Design Toscano’s expansion into Omni channel marketing. Today, the majority of Design Toscano’s business stems from non-direct to consumer channels such as Amazon, Wayfair, Overstock, Home Depot, to name a few.

Design Toscano’s direct to consumer business is anchored by its catalog marketing efforts and its Ecommerce initiatives on its own web platform. Mike and Marilyn’s enjoyment for travel has continued with Design Toscano’s expansion into the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Canada markets.